Journal Highlight: Conjunctions and the New Weird, a Non-Genre

By

picture-12Conjunctions: 52, Betwixt the Between, its Spring 2009 issue, has just been released. According to the Editors’ Note, the issue explores what happens when the “borderlands of the normal and absurd…are breached.” This breach is bare in  Secret Breathing Techniques, by Ben Marcus. Like most, if not all, of Ben Marcus’s fiction, this story requires slow reading, because it lays open the looseness of learned semantics, vocabulary and knowledge of anything, generally. It involves paralysis, postures of taking in air, and high-altitudes. It sinks partly in like something familiar before it blindsides —”No mention will be made of a man my mother once knew who breathed through paper”—and causes you to wonder not only what, but how you just read. And this piece gives clues that seem to, but might not, speak to Ben Marcus’s literary and superliterary impulses: “Knowingness, I sensed, was a peril…. Certainty was a peril.” Also offered online are stories by Elizabeth Hand and Jeff VanderMeer


Rozalia Jovanovic is a founding editor of Gigantic, a magazine of short prose and art. She is the Deputy Editor of Flavorpill and has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and Columbia University. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming from Unsaid, The Believer, Everyday Genius, Guernica, elimae, and Esquire.com. She blogs at The Astonishing Egg and is The Rumpus New York Editor. More from this author →